I woke up at 6:30am and went downstairs to have a coffee and catch up on some writing, this very post in fact… Everyone else woke up around 7:45am. We left at 9:10am to try to catch the bus at Nagano station to go to Togakushi Shrine. We bought round trip tickets at the bus ticket office (across the street from the train station) for 2400 Yen. The next bus was at 10:40am so we went to get some breakfast.
The bus ride took about and hour and wound in circles up the hills and into the mountains. We got off at Togakushi Chu-sha Shrine (the middle shrine of three). The snow was still pretty deep in places, but the sun was warm and it was 14 degrees Celsius.
We walked for over an hour to get to the entrance of Togakushi Okusha (the top shrine), it might have been shorter if the majority of the paths had not been closed due to the high snow levels.
It was then another hours walk to the top of Togakushi Okusha shrine from the roadway.
The walkway was lined with really tall and gorgeous cedar trees. The snow got really high and it was pretty slippery, but we made it to the top of the shrine.
We then walked back down and that took about an hour. Once we got back to Togakushi Chusha, we went to an adorable little soba restaurant (Uzuraya) I had an amazing local milky sake with rice chunks in it (best sake of my life). The waitress loved Jives’ One Piece shirt!
The ride back to Nagano took another hour. We went to Animate on the walk back to our Airbnb. I got a plushy Tony Tony Chopper!
We went for dinner at a sports looking bar where the chairs and tables were made of Kirin crates. I watched the Japan vs. Bolivia Soccer game (and then wrestling came on). We dinned on delicious ramen and beer!!!!!!